A compact, engaging look at how the revolutionary theories of Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton completely changed humankind’s understandings of the Earth and the universe—and caused tremendous controversy.
For over 1,000 years, the Earth was the center of the universe according to established scientific thinking going back to ancient Greece and to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Scientists challenging this long-accepted geocentric view of the universe risked their reputations and even their lives for contradicting biblical authority and church doctrine. Miller explains how the “radical” theories of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton complemented one another and, in less than 200 years, completely overturned established ideas about the universe that had lasted more than a millennium. His discussions of each scientist’s theories are accessible, clear and concise, though his emphasis is on their courage in challenging the very heart of religious and scientific tradition. Archival material illustrates the book, and sidebars help to provide specialized background information.
An inspiring, holistic take on milestones of scientific progress. (glossary, source notes, bibliography, resources for further information) (Nonfiction. 12-18)